A popular brewhouse has been refused permission to open a new bar in an old mill in Slaithwaite.
The Three Fiends Brewhouse, which also has the Four Fiends Taphouse in Meltham, applied to Kirklees Council for an alcohol licence for Bank Gate Mills in Bank Gate, just up from the centre of Slaithwaite.
The mill is on a narrow road surrounded by housing and residents objected, saying the new bar would have a detrimental impact on their lives, causing noise, nuisance, parking problems and road safety dangers.
The Three Fiends applied turn the ground floor of the mill into a bar and taproom to sell alcohol on and off the premises from Monday to Sunday 12noon-11pm.
A meeting of Kirklees Council’s licensing panel was called to decide the application and hear from objectors.
The hearing, chaired by Clr Amanda Pinnock, was told there was no car park at the mill and there were fears drivers would park on the road, which only had a pavement on one side.
Children going to and from school, to an after-school club and to a community centre would mix with customers, and there was a potential danger to pedestrians walking in the road.
Bank Gate in Slaithwaite: Image: Google
Residents were also concerned that Ale Trail drinkers arriving by train would head out of the village centre to the bar, bringing anti-social behaviour to a predominantly residential area.
After hearing from residents, the panel refused the application on the grounds of ‘protecting children from harm’, public safety and public nuisance.
One objector, who described himself as 77-years-old and “vulnerable”, said as many as 1,000 residents would be affected if a bar opened at the mill. It would affect his mental health and well-being.
“I want to live there because it’s a quiet area,” he said. “All our bedrooms face the premises. We won’t get any sleep.”
He said the road danger would be a “massive public safety issue” and added: “I am getting emotional because it will so affect our lives. It will totally disrupt our lives.”
Chris Broadbent, one of the partners in the business, said the new bar would be similar to the Four Fiends and accommodate up to 120 people. In Meltham the premises open Wednesday to Sunday.
However, one objector described the details of what was planned for Slaithwaite as “sketchy” and “made up on the hoof.”
Local councillor Matthew McLoughlin (Lab, Colne Valley), who also opposed the licence, said the Ale Trail would be widened with drinkers encouraged into a residential area.
“We don’t want it and the police certainly don’t want it,” he said. “It’s a different kind of person that comes on the Ale Trail on the train.”
During the hearing Mr Broadbent said he wanted to replicate the success of the Fourth Fiend which was family-friendly and supported the local community with activities such as kids’ crafting sessions and fundraising.
He said they were good neighbours and had never had any incidents of fighting or littering and only one noise complaint that was quickly resolved.
“We don’t want to upset anyone,” added Mr Broadbent. “We are nice people and we want to create a nice place.”